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From top-of-the-class in the United States to test pilot at Saab: Marcus Wandt is one of the chosen few whose job it is to get Gripen E ready for its maiden flight.

The engineer, fighter pilot and former airborne ranger has been employed full time as a test pilot at Saab for a couple of years. Right now, a lot of the work involves getting Gripen E flight-ready.

“It’s my job to observe and analyse how the aircraft operates,” he says. “There’s a high degree of engineering thinking involved. When a fighter pilot finds that ‘it’s difficult to aim’, it’s the responsibility of the test pilot to go one step further and find out how many degrees the nose is swinging.”

Wandt has, over a period of one and a half years at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS), flown a number of different types of aircraft – everything from gliders and 50-year-old taildraggers to seaplanes and modern fighter aircraft.

“It’s incredibly stimulating to go along on that journey,” he says. “I’ve never previously experienced the same subtle communication between a fighter aircraft and pilot. When I sit in the aircraft, I feel enormous respect for the engineers behind the system. Everyone who has toiled on their small part of the project is involved.”

Read the full story here.​

"We are pushing two generations ahead. Gripen has a strong market position, and development of the new 'E' variant is progressing in line with time and budget estimates," says Ulf Nilsson, Saab's head of aeronautics at Saab's annual Gripen seminar. For Sweden's order of 60 planes, a first test aircraft will soon be ready. Saab's incremental platform development methods result in shorter lead times to customers, he says.

As per the latest update at the Seminar, the Brazil programme is at full speed ahead. 50 Brazilian engineers who have arrived in Linkoping are now an integrated part of the Gripen program.

Ulf also talked about why Saab believes in true technology transfer. “Why do we want to share our technology? While our competitors see technology sharing as a risk, we see it as an opportunity. This is the way to grow forward and gain new partners. To achieve sustainability in the transfer of technology program, we have to build technology around the program. It’s a strategic decision for Saab and Sweden,” he says.

Unveiled during the Gripen Annual Seminar, this video shows some behind-the-scene highlights from the first next generation Gripen test aircraft in production. 

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“The partnership with Saab will be more than Gripen. It would be a natural step to jointly develop a new product, a successor to the Gripen,” said Jackson Schneider, president and CEO, Embraer.

“We will inaugurate our plant in August-September. It will be our base for cooperation with Saab, and that's where we will adapt the Gripen aircraft for our Air Force’s needs and develop the two-seater version of Gripen NG,” he added.

According to Schneider, Gripen is the perfect plane for Latin America. 

Schneider said that the Gripen programme is important for Brazil because it is an important step in boosting an already large aerospace and defence industry.

“But it is still Saab in Sweden that will deliver most of the Gripen NG fighters and by 2019, both the Swedish and the Brazilian Air Force will get their first Swedish-built Gripen E,” he maintains.

Read the full story here.

​What do we need to build a perfect fighter? And would that fighter stay perfect for tomorrow as well?

At the Farnborough International Airshow 2016, Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt tells how Gripen is the perfect fighter, today and tomorrow.​

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​Between 11 and 17 July, Saab will present Gripen at the Farnborough International Airshow.

This year, Saab breaks new ground in meeting with its customers, industry colleagues and friends from around the world with the launch of the Saab Experience. Besides Gripen, visitors can get to know Saab's products like airborne surveillance, ISR, air defence and radar, digital air traffic management, air support and commercial aerospace technology inside the Saab experience.

During the airshow, Saab Test Pilot Marcus Wandt will talk about how to build the perfect fighter. Saab Gripen Programme Update has been scheduled on 12 July, Tuesday at 10:00 am. ​

Know more about Saab's participation at Farnborough​ International Airshow 2016 here.

​You have never experienced Gripen like this before. If you are ready to fly, download our new game - Gripen Fighter Challenge. 

The missions you can select include "Take To The Skies", "Arctic Recon", "Dam Circuit" and "Show of Force". These missions will test your aero savviness, in terms of reflexes, concentration, and execution of flight patterns.

You can download the game on Google Play and App Store.​

Link to downloading the game is here and here​.

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Join Saab test pilot Jakob Högberg for a walkaround of Gripen E. Högberg will be in the UK next week at the Farnborough International Airshow. Watch him explain the Gripen E features in a video here​.

​From the new powerful F414G engine to a completely new sensor suite, Gripen E has an array of new features. The additional internal fuel tanks mean the fighter will have an increased range and ability to remain in air for longer. The IRST system ensures early target detection, giving Gripen E situational awareness without emitting its own radar energy.

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The future is always uncertain. So the pilots of the future need an aircraft that can be easily upgraded to meet ever-changing requirements.

“Computers, processors and electronics are continuously developing and it’s important that you can upgrade these as new tech emerges in the market,” says Saab’s Wing Commander Flying and Gripen test pilot Hans Einerth.

Right from the beginning, Gripen E was developed with future progress in mind. By managing to isolate systems affecting the core flight abilities, the plane’s split avionics system allows for integration of off-the-shelf products.

“The future pilot will need the ability to continuously upgrade the hardware and software and not get stuck in old functionality; this is of increasing importance,” explains Einerth.

Read the full story here​.

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Seen by many as a series of giant leaps in innovation the story of flight is, in fact, one of fantastic evolution. More than anyone the Gripen team at Saab know this. It is evolutionary thinking that has kept the Gripen system more than one step ahead.

Most military aircraft are built with the present and future in mind. Fighters are ordinarily commissioned decades in advance of completion. These needs are usually defined by military planners. The planners draw on as much intelligence and strategic thinking as possible to make the right decisions for what are massive multi-billion dollar projects. During the cold war many nations considered the military of the highest economic priority. Matters of defence were given huge budgets. When it came to air forces there were some with seemingly bottomless pockets.

Swedish prudence and the birth of Gripen

Sweden was one country that did not believe in blank cheques when it came to its military. The Swedish Air Force was to be no exception. 

In 1980 a requirement was issued to Swedish manufacturers for a new multi-role aircraft. The bar was set high. Excellent performance, agility and speed were all necessary to combat the threats at that time. However, the high-level Swedish strategists did not only put in a request for a new fighter. They pushed for a new way of thinking. They had decided it would be costly and difficult to adapt many of the aircraft on the market. They realised that the fundamental ...

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Welcome to the official Gripen blog by Saab. This site features information and commentary about the Gripen fighter jet.
 
The Gripen Blog shares stories and discussions on the Gripen aircraft. The Blog does not vouch for the authenticity of the reports from other publications that have been quoted.
 
The reference to articles and news reports does not imply endorsement or validation of the views of the authors of the stories.